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<< 1969 CE | 1961-1970 CE | >>

§Of World Interest

January 1st, the Unix epoch began at 00:00:00 UTC.

March 5 - The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty goes into effect, after ratification by 43 nations.

March 25 - The Concorde makes its first supersonic flight (700 mph/1127 km/h).



January 12 – Biafra capitulates, ending the Nigerian civil war.

January 15 – After a 32-month fight for independence from Nigeria, Biafran forces under Philip Effiong formally surrender to General Yakubu Gowon.

§Rhodesia (modern Zimbabwe)

March 1 - Rhodesia severs its last tie with the United Kingdom, declaring itself a racially-segregated republic.


June 4 – Tonga gains independence from the United Kingdom.


November 26 – Pope Paul VI begins an Asian tour.


January 5 – An earthquake (Richter Scale 7.7 magnitude) at Yunnan, China kills at least 15,621.


March 15 - The Expo '70 World's Fair opens in Suita, Osaka, Japan.


September 6 – The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacks 4 passenger aircraft from Pan Am, TWA and Swissair on flights to New York from Brussels, Frankfurt and Zürich.


January 1 - The National Westminster Bank begins trading in the United Kingdom

January 20 - The Greater London Council announced its plans for the Thames Barrier at Woolwich to prevent flooding. The barrier opened in 1981.

July 30 – Damages totalling £485,528 are awarded to 28 Thalidomide victims.

§British Politics

March 12 - Teenagers in the United Kingdom vote for the first time, in a by-election in Bridgwater.

June 18 - United Kingdom general election, 1970: The Conservative Party wins and Edward Heath becomes Prime Minister.

July 23 – Two CS gas canisters are thrown into the chamber of the British House of Commons.

§British Entertainment

February 14 - Iconic live album "The Who: Live at Leeds" recorded.

April 10 - Paul McCartney announces that the Beatles have disbanded, while at the same press conference, announcing the release of his new solo album.

The Elton John album is released, the second album by Elton John, but the first to chart and the first to be released in America.

August 26–30 – The Isle of Wight Festival 1970 takes place on East Afton Farm off the coast of England. Some 600,000 people attend the largest rock festival of all time. Artists include Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, Chicago, Richie Havens, John Sebastian, Joan Baez, Ten Years After, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Jethro Tull.

December 31 – Paul McCartney sues in Great Britain to dissolve the Beatles' legal partnership.


February 10 – An avalanche at Val d'Isère, France kills 39 tourists.

April 11 – An avalanche at a tuberculosis sanatorium in the French Alps kills 74, mostly young boys.


February - Baader, Ensslin,and Proll, temporarily out of prison, decide not to go back and go underground. A group of West Berlin anarchists, including "Bommi" Baumann, Thonas Weisbecker, and Georg von Ranch arrested while beating Horst Rieck, a joarnalist for Quick, who had recently written a scandal-ridden article about the West Berlin New Left and the political bombings. Baumann's held for 1 ½ years. The rest are released shortly after the arrests.

September 21 - SDS disbanded.

March - German Communist Party/Reconstruction Organization (pro-Beijing) founded.

April 5 - Baader arrested in traffic control in West Berlin.

May 5 - America House in West Berlin firebombed the day after the Army enters Cambodia (Kampuchea) and 4 students shot at Kent State.

May 14 - Baader broken out of the library of the Institute for Social Research, where he has obtained permission to work with Ulrike Meinhof on a book about juvenile detention centers. An armed group broke into the library and fled with Baader and Meinhof. An Institute employee, Linke, is shot and badly hurt when he tries to intervene. This marks the beginning of the Red Army Faction (RAF).

May 23 - 350 arrested protesting a march of Allied troops in West Berlin.

June 11 - West Berlin police are armed with hand grenades and machine guns.

June - Some members of the RAF go to Jordan and train with Al Fatah (PLO).

August - The group returns from Jordan and publicly declares itself the RAF.

September 29 - 3 simultaneous bank robberies mark the RAF's first action. Nets 220,000 DM.

October 8 - Acting on a tip-off, police raid a West Berlin apartment and arrest RAF members Horst Mahler (previously a Left lawyer and Baader’s lawyer at the time of his breakout), Irene Georgens, Ingrid Schubert, Monika Berberich, and Brigatte Adonsk.

November 5 - Government passes motion allowing the greater use of electronic surveillance methods.

November 16 - City Hall in Neustadt broken into, 31 official stamps, 15 passports, and 11 ID cards stolen.

November 21 - City Hall in Lang-Gons broken into, 166 ID cards, a bottle of cognac, and more than 430 DM stolen.

December 22 – Franz Stangl, the ex-commander of Treblinka, is sentenced to life imprisonment. After extradition to West Germany by Brazilian federal justice, he was tried for the deaths of around 900,000 people. He admitted to these killings but argued: "My conscience is clear. I was simply doing my duty ...". The philosopher John Kekes discusses Stangl and the degree of his responsibility for war crimes in chapter 4 of his book, The Roots of Evil. Found guilty on October 22, 1970, Stangl was sentenced to life imprisonment. He died of heart failure in Düsseldorf prison on June 28, 1971.


April 16 - Rev. Ian Paisley won a by-election to the House of Commons of Northern Ireland.

May 6 - Arms Crisis in the Republic of Ireland: Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney are dismissed as members of the Irish Government, due to accusations of their involvement in a plot to import arms for use by the Provisional IRA in Northern Ireland.


December 1 – The Italian House of Representatives accepts the new divorce law.


December 7 – During his visit to the Polish capital, German Chancellor Willy Brandt goes down on his knees in front of a monument to the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto.

December 13 – The government of Poland announces food price increases. Riots and looting lead to a bloody confrontation between the rioters and the government on December 15, and martial law December 17–22.

December 23 – The Polish government freezes food prices for 2 years.


January 21 - Five lifeboatmen were killed when the Fraserburgh lifeboat Duchess of Kent capsized during a rescue off Kinnaird's Head, Aberdeenshire.


July 4 – A chartered Dan-Air De Havilland Comet crashes into the mountains north of Barcelona; at least 112 are killed.

July 11 – The first tunnel under the Pyrenees links the towns of Aragnouet (France) and Bielsa (Spain).

December 3 – Burgos Trial: In Burgos, Spain, the trial of 16 Basque terrorism suspects begins.

December 4 – The Spanish government declares a 3-month martial law in the Basque county of Guipuzco, over strikes and demonstrations.

December 28 – Burgos Trial: Three Basques are sentenced to death (3 twice), others sentenced to 12 to 62 years, and 1 is released.

December 30 – In Viscaya, Spain, Basque county, 15,000 go on strike to protest the Burgos trial death sentences.

December 30 – Francisco Franco commutes the death sentences of the Burgos Trial defendants to 30 years in prison.


March 6 – Süleyman Demirel of AP forms the new government of Turkey (32nd government)


December 27 – India's president declares new elections.

§East Pakistan (Modern Bangladesh)

November 13 - The Bhola cyclone kills around 500,000 people. primarily as a result of the storm surge that flooded much of the low-lying islands of the Ganges Delta. This cyclone was the sixth cyclonic storm of the 1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season, and also the season's strongest.

The cyclone formed over the central Bay of Bengal on November 8 and traveled north, intensifying as it did so. It reached its peak with winds of 185 km/h (115 mph) on November 11, and made landfall on the coast of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) the following afternoon. The storm surge devastated many of the offshore islands, wiping out villages and destroying crops throughout the region. In the most severely affected Upazila, Tazumuddin, over 45% of the population of 167,000 was killed by the storm.

§Middle East


July 21 – The Aswan High Dam in Egypt is completed.


September 1 – An assassination attempt against King Hussein of Jordan precipitates the Black September crisis.

September 7 - Fighting breaks out between Arab guerillas and government forces in Amman, Jordan.

September 8–10 – The Jordanian government and Palestinian guerillas make truces they keep breaking.

September 15 – King Hussein of Jordan forms a military government with Muhammad Daoud as the prime minister.

September 20 - Syrian armored forces cross the Jordanian border.

September 21 – Palestinian armored forces reinforce Palestinian guerillas in Irbidi, Jordan.


September 3 – September 6 – Israeli forces fight Palestinian guerillas in southern Lebanon.


July 23 – Said bin Taimur, Sultan of Muscat and Oman, is deposed in a palace coup by his son, Qaboos.

§North America


July 6 – Air Canada Flight 621 catches fire after landing at Toronto International Airport, Toronto, Ontario; all 109 passengers and crew are killed.

December 3 – October Crisis: In Montreal, Quebec, kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross is released by the Front de Libération du Québec terrorist group after being held hostage for 60 days. Police negotiate his release and in return the Government of Canada grants 5 terrorists from the FLQ's Chenier Cell their request for safe passage to Cuba.

December 28 – The suspected killers of Pierre Laporte, Jacques and Paul Rose and Francis Sunard, are arrested near Montreal.


May 31 – The 1970 FIFA World Cup is inaugurated in Mexico.

June 21 – Brazil defeats Italy 4–1 to win the 1970 FIFA World Cup.

December 1 – Luis Echeverría becomes president of Mexico.

§United States

January 1 - Construction begins on Arcosanti, by Paolo Soleri, in Mayer, Arizona, 65 miles north of Phoenix, Arizona.

February 17 – MacDonald family massacre: Jeffrey R. MacDonald kills his wife and children at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, claiming that drugged-out "hippies" did it.

February 18 – A jury finds the Chicago Seven defendants not guilty of conspiring to incite a riot, in charges stemming from the violence at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Five of the defendants are found guilty on the lesser charge of crossing state lines to incite a riot.

March 18 - United States Postal Service workers in New York City go on strike; the strike spreads to the state of California and the cities of Akron, Ohio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Boston, and Denver, Colorado; 210,000 out of 750,000 U.S. postal employees walk out. President Nixon assigns military units to New York City post offices. The strike lasts 2 weeks.

March 21 - The first Earth Day proclamation is issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto.

April 22 - The first Earth Day is celebrated in the U.S.

April 1 - President Richard Nixon signs the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law, banning cigarette television advertisements in the United States, starting on January 1, 1971.

May 1 - Demonstrations against the trial of the New Haven Nine, Bobby Seale, and Ericka Huggins draw 12,000.

May 8 - "Hard Hat Riots" in New York. 200 construction workers attacked about 1000 protesters at New York City Hall, largely college and high school students protesting the Kent State killings.

June 6 – A D-Day celebration is held in Washington, D.C..

June 11 – The United States gets its first female generals: Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington.

August 7 – Harold Haley, Marin County Superior Court Judge, is taken hostage and murdered, in an effort to free George Jackson from police custody.

August 17 – August 18 – The U.S. sinks 418 containers of nerve gas into the Gulf Stream near the Bahamas.

August 26 – The Women's Strike For Equality takes place down Fifth Avenue in New York City.

August 29 – Rubén Salazar is shot and killed during a rally in East Los Angeles.

September 7 - An anti-war rally is held at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, attended by John Kerry, Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland.

September 13 – The first New York City Marathon begins.

December 23 – The North Tower of the World Trade Center is topped out at 1,368 feet (417 m), making it the tallest building in the world.

§U.S. Entertainment

January 5 - The first episode of All My Children is broadcast on the ABC television network.

January 14 - Diana Ross & The Supremes perform their farewell live concert together at the Frontier Hotel

June 7 – The Who become the first act to perform rock music (their rock opera, Tommy) at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York.

July 1 – the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is subordinated to Public Health Service.

July 4 – Bob Hope and other entertainers gather in Washington, D.C. for Honor America Day, a nonpartisan holiday event.

July 4 – Longtime radio music countdown show American Top 40 debuts on 5 U.S. stations with Casey Kasem as host.

August 14 - The Assistant Secretary of Health, Dr. Roger O. Egeberg wrote a letter recommending the plant, marijuana, be classified as a schedule 1 substance. His recommendation was based on the fact that at the time they had no understanding of the effects of the active substances and recategorization was to happen once studies were completed. It has remained categorized as a schedule 1 substance despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. In August of 2013, medical expert Sanjay Gupta, apologized for his prior support of the government's position and stated this his own personal research showed that marijuana was not a drug that would largely be abused and in fact had medical use, contrary to earlier unfounded statements.

September 9 – Elvis Presley begins his first concert tour since 1958 in Phoenix, Arizona at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

September 18 – Jimi Hendrix dies of drug related complications.

September 18 – Black Sabbath release their second album, Paranoid

§U.S. Industry

January 22 – The Boeing 747, the world's first "jumbo jet", enters commercial service for launch customer Pan American Airways with its maiden voyage from John F Kennedy International Airport to London Heathrow Airport.

American Motors Corporation introduces the Gremlin on April Fools Day (April 1st).

June 21 – Penn Central declares Section 77 bankruptcy, largest ever US corporate bankruptcy up to this date.

September 10 - The Chevrolet Vega is introduced.

September 11 – The Ford Pinto is introduced.

§U.S. Politics

April 1 – President Richard Nixon signs the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law, banning cigarette television advertisements in the United States, starting on January 1, 1971.

June 10 - President Nixon signs a measure lowering the voting age to 18.

December 29 – U.S. President Richard Nixon signs into law the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

§U.S. Religion

January 9 - After 140 years of unofficial discrimination, the Mormon Church officially declared that blacks could not become priests "for reasons which we believe are known to God, but which He has not made fully known to man."

§Vietnam War (domestic)

March 17 - My Lai massacre: The United States Army charges 14 officers with suppressing information related to the incident.

May 1 – Demonstrations against the trial of the New Haven Nine, Bobby Seale, and Ericka Huggins draw 12,000. President Richard Nixon orders U.S. forces to cross into neutral Cambodia, threatening to widen the Vietnam War, sparking nationwide riots and leading to the Kent State Shootings.

May 4 - Kent State shootings: Four students at Kent State University in Ohio are killed and 9 wounded by United States National Guardsmen at a protest against the incursion into Cambodia.

May 9 - In Washington, DC, 100,000 people demonstrate against the Vietnam War.

May 14 - In the second day of violent demonstrations at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, state law enforcement officers fire into the demonstrators, killing 2 and injuring 12.

June 24 – The United States Senate repeals the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.


§Soviet Union

May 24 – The scientific drilling of the Kola Superdeep Borehole begins in the USSR.

May 26 – The Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 becomes the first commercial transport to exceed Mach 2.



June 2 – Norway announces that it has rich oil deposits off its North Sea coast.

§South America


February 1 – A train collision near Buenos Aires, Argentina kills 236.

June 8 - A coup in Argentina brings a new junta of service chiefs; on June 18, Roberto M. Levingston becomes President.


December 23 – The Bolivian government releases Regis Debray.


December 7 – Giovanni Enrico Bucher, the Swiss ambassador to Brazil, is kidnapped in Rio de Janeiro; kidnappers demand the release of 70 political prisoners.


Salvador Allende won the 1970 Chilean presidential election as leader of the Unidad Popular ("Popular Unity") coalition. On 4 September 1970, he obtained a narrow plurality of 36.2 percent to 34.9 percent over Jorge Alessandri, a former president, with 27.8 percent going to a third candidate (Radomiro Tomic) of the Christian Democratic Party (PDC), whose electoral platform was similar to Allende's. According to the Chilean Constitution of the time, if no presidential candidate obtained a majority of the popular vote, Congress would choose one of the two candidates with the highest number of votes as the winner. Tradition was for Congress to vote for the candidate with the highest popular vote, regardless of margin.

20 October, while the senate had still to reach a decision and negotiations were actively in place between the Christian Democrats and the Popular Unity, General René Schneider, Commander in Chief of the Chilean Army, was shot resisting a kidnap attempt by a group led by General Roberto Viaux. Hospitalized, he died of his wounds three days later, on 23 October. Viaux's kidnapping plan had been supported by the CIA, although the then U.S. National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger claims to have ordered the plans postponed at the last moment. Many believe Kissinger's statement to be false and evidence points towards CIA director Richard Helms following orders directly from President Nixon to do whatever was necessary in order “to get rid of him”, referring to Allende. Nixon handed over a blank check to Helms, which allowed him to use full discretion in ridding Chile of Allende’s presence and “making the economy scream”. Schneider was a defender of the "constitutionalist" doctrine that the army's role is exclusively professional, its mission being to protect the country's sovereignty and not to interfere in politics.

General Schneider's death was widely disapproved of and, for the time, ended military opposition to Allende, whom the parliament finally chose on 24 October. On 26 October, President Eduardo Frei named General Carlos Prats as commander in chief of the army to replace René Schneider.

Allende assumed the presidency on 3 November 1970 after signing a Statute of Constitutional Guarantees proposed by the Christian Democrats in return for their support in Congress. In an extensive interview with Régis Debray in 1972, Allende explained his reasons for agreeing to the guarantees.[16] Some critics have interpreted Allende's responses as an admission that signing the Statute was only a tactical move.


February 22 – Guyana becomes a Republic within the Commonwealth of Nations.


May 31 – The 1970 Ancash earthquake causes a landslide that buries the town of Yungay, Peru; more than 47,000 people are killed.

§Southeast Asia


Civil War in Cambodia

The kingdom of Cambodia became the Khmer Republic. At the time the population of the capital, Phnom Penh City was 900,000 people.

March 18 - General Lon Nol ousts Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia. Sihanouk was overthrown in a U.S.-backed coup that came while he was abroad on a trip that included a stay at a French weight-loss clinic. He became an exile in China.

April 29 - The U.S. invades Cambodia to hunt out the Viet Cong; massive antiwar protests occur in the U.S.

June 28 – U.S. ground troops withdraw from Cambodia.

September 10 - Cambodian government forces break the siege of Kompong Tho after 3 months.


September 5 – Vietnam War – Operation Jefferson Glenn: The United States 101st Airborne Division and the South Vietnamese 1st Infantry Division initiate a new operation in Thua Thien Province (the operation ends in October 1971).

§South Pacific

§Mururoa Atoll

July 3 – the French Army detonated a 914 kiloton thermonuclear device in the Mururoa Atoll on July 3, 1970. It was the fourth nuclear test and largest.


February 11 - Osumi, Japan's first satellite, is launched on a Lamba-4 rocket.

March 31 - NASA's Explorer I, the first American satellite and Explorer program spacecraft, reenters Earth's atmosphere after 12 years in orbit.

April 11 - Apollo program: Apollo 13 (Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, Jack Swigert) is launched toward the Moon. On April 13, an oxygen tank in the spacecraft explodes, forcing the crew to abort the mission and return in 4 days.

April 17 - Safe return & splashdown of Apollo 13 (Apollo program).

April 24 - China's first satellite (Dong Fang Hong 1) is launched to orbit using a Long March-1 Rocket (CZ-1).

June 1 – Soyuz 9, a two man spacecraft, is launched in the Soviet Union.

August 17 – Venera program: Venera 7 is launched. It later becomes the first spacecraft to successfully transmit data from another planet.

September 20 - Luna 16 lands on the Moon and lifts off the next day with samples. It lands on Earth September 24.


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Page last modified on August 06, 2016, at 03:14 PM